Justin Calhoun of Star City took first place in the 2015 Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet held recently at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

The competition is modeled after the statewide Young Farmer & Ranchers Contest sponsored by Arkansas Farm Bureau. Participants discuss a current agricultural issue in a committee meeting format. Points are given for analysis of the topic, problem solving and implementation, a cooperative attitude, and general delivery. Each participant makes individual opening and closing statements of their own composition with all participants engaging in a general discussion period. The question discussed was “The farm bill crop insurance provisions offer a safety net for crop loss due to natural disaster and/or price risk. Should a safety net for livestock producers be developed, and what provisions might it include?”

Calhoun is a sophomore in the UAM School of Agriculture pursuing a bachelor of science degree in agriculture with a plant and soil science option. He received a cash prize and will represent UAM in the state finals of the Collegiate Farm Bureau Discussion Meet during the State Collegiate Farm Bureau and Young Farmer and Rancher Joint Conference in Little Rock.

John David Farabough of Star City, received a cash prize for second place and will be the UAM alternate for the state finals.

John Erickson of Chicago, Illinois, Amanda Kelley of Greenbrier, and Kaitlyn Wilson of Dewitt also received cash prizes for their local participation.

The UAM Collegiate Farm Bureau co-sponsored the event with Arkansas Farm Bureau. Moderator for the activity was Dr. Bob Stark, faculty advisor. Dr. Paul Francis, professor of plant and soil science, served as timekeeper. Judges were Jeff Felts, Drew County Farm Bureau director, Harry Willems, Farm Bureau state director of organization and member programs, and Steve Stroh, Farm Bureau southeast district director of organization and member programs.

Farm Bureau Discussion

Pictured from left are Harry Willems, Farm Bureau state director of organization and member programs, Justin Calhoun, John David Farabough, Dr. Bob Stark, Collegiate Farm Bureau faculty sponsor, John Erickson, Amanda Kelley, Kaitlyn Wilson, and Steve Stroh, Farm Bureau southeast district director of organization and member programs.